Petition for Democratic Budget Hearings
Whereas, the City Council Budget Hearings are held on weekdays, beginning at 10:00 a.m., when most people are at work; and
Whereas, the City Council Budget Hearings do not operate with a detailed agenda with allocated time slots for each topic; and
Whereas, City Departments do not identify what portion of the department budget is allocated for staff and for programming; and
Whereas, performance measurements,as currently set, are not clearly defined and do not reflect the funding priorities of residents.
We believe that the current City Council Budget Hearing process limits citizen participation and does not allow the City Council to identify the budget priorities of residents or to determine what programs would best meet these priorities, and we request that the City Council make the following changes to its current budgeting process to increase citizen participation:
1. Start budget hearings held during the workweek no earlier than 5:00 p.m.
2. Provide a detailed agenda that includes time frames for each topic.
3. Provide an itemized list of staff salaries (classified and unclassified).
4. Set performance measurements that align with the identified budget priorities.
Convened by the New Orleans Coalition for Open Governance (NOCOG), Budgeting for Democracy aims to create a social and political environment in which community members can be actively involved in the city budgeting process. The Budgeting for Democracy partnership consists of Committee for a Better New Orleans (CBNO), Mary Queen of Vietnam Community Development Corporation (MQVNCDC), Neighborhoods Partnership Network (NPN), Partnership for Youth Development, Puentes-New Orleans, and the Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association (VAYLA). We believe that community input strengthens the ability of City Council to utilize our tax dollars in the most effective manner and empowers all residents of New Orleans.